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Lexington Fire Department wins $4.2 million grant to hire 21 new firefighters

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Officials are hoping to see a boost in numbers for Lexington fire crews. The department has been awarded $4.2 million to hire an additional 21 firefighters. The money comes in the form of a SAFER grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  

Jason Wells is the Chief of the Lexington Fire Department. He said the dollars will fund the positions for the first three years.  

“We have known for a while that as our community grows, we were going to have to add staffing at some point in time. This grant is really just a boost that allows us to go ahead and get those personnel in place and they will continue to be supported throughout the years,” said Wells.  

The new crew members will expand the department from 599 to 620. Chief Wells said a stronger force will allow the department to continue preventative services. 

“Things like our smoke alarm installation program, our community paramedicine program. Those programs allow us to go out and meet the community where they are and oftentimes, we find that preventing the emergency from happening in the first place is best for everybody involved,” said Wells. 

Chief Wells added that the expanded force will improve firefighters’ quality of life and prevent overtime expenses.  

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Samantha is WEKU's All Things Considered Host and also reports on news of interest in the commonwealth. Sam is a graduate of Morehead State University and worked for MSU's Public Radio Station WMKY.
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